Founded in Japan by Toshiyuki Inoko, teamLab is an international art collective comprising specialists in very different areas, including artists, programmers, engineers, animators, mathematicians and architects. Its collaborative practice takes a turn on the concept of the individual artist signing their work and it seeks to navigate the confluence of art, science, technology and the natural world.
According to this collective, in order to understand the world around us, people separate it into independent entities with perceived boundaries between them, and teamLab aims to transcend these boundaries in our perceptions of the world, of the relationship between the self and the world and of the continuity of time. Everything exists in a long, fragile yet miraculous borderless continuity. The visual language teamLab uses is contemporary and technological but innovation and tradition coexist perfectly in their work.
Their exhibitions have been held in cities all over the world, including New York, London, Paris, Singapore, Beijing and Melbourne, among others. This collective has developed permanent exhibitions such as teamLab Borderless and teamLab Planets in Tokyo, teamLab Borderless in Shanghai and teamLab SuperNature in Macao, and it has projects underway to open others in places such as Abu Dhabi, Beijing, Hamburg, Jeddah and Utrecht.
Works by teamLab can be found in the permanent collection of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, the Art Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney, the Art Gallery of South Australia in Adelaide, the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, the Asia Society Museum in New York, the Borusan Contemporary Art Collection in Istanbul, the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne and Amos Rex in Helsinki, among other institutions.
The Hortensia Herrero collection includes a work by teamLab entitled The World of Irreversible Change. This is an interactive piece featuring a place that is both somewhere in time and here and now. The artwork’s world is connected to the outside world in the city where it is exhibited, so the city has the same conditions of time and season of the year as the place that accommodates it. By touching the screen, visitors can pit people against each other, but if this interaction is too intense it could unleash an all-out war that would raze the whole city to the ground and reduce it to ashes. If this happened, there would be no way for the work to return to its original state. Vegetation would take possession of the ruins and gradually grow over time. And the fact is that there are actions in life from which there is no turning back; hence the title of the work.